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Nicole’s adaptation to a new daycare

Popularity 5Viewed 2163 times 2014-11-25 23:35 |Personal category:Growing with my daughter|System category:Life| day care, adaptation

My hubby has recently invited me for discussions several times. It seems to him that he has been ignored somehow by me for a long time.  And as a mom as well as a wife and a used-to-be research partner of him, I was suggested have a careful review of our current living state. He wished that I could make some change to re-balance the condition. This man always makes complaints in his typical humorous way. Maybe it’s time for me to think about returning to work after such a long time maternity leave. After all, most folks have to work for a living, and besides, social communication is very important to one’s health. However, before I could return back, I need to make sure Nicole is safe and well looked after in a great childcare place. She is twenty-eight-month old now, and she has been in one of our neighboring playgroups, communicating with other little kids for more than one year, thus theoretically there should be no problem for her to stay in a more professional child care center for full day long.

 

We decided to gradually transit her from the current half-day playgroup to a licensed full-day nursery centre. After doing an extensive research of the numerous leaflets and booklets provided by several day care centres around and having a on site viewing of each one, I finally chose the one named ‘Sunshine’. It is airy, light and welcoming. When I enter, I get a good ‘feel’ of the atmosphere of the place. And I believe that if I have a good feel just walking into the place, this may be a good indicator on how Nicole will be treated there.

 

The daycare also has different groups of children separated by ages. There are two baby-groups aging from four months to ten months old, and eleven months to twenty months old. Nicole belongs to the toddler group with kids from twenty-one month to thirty-six months old. Each group contains four to six kids. This classification, which I see as a pro because the child is in age specific groups with age specific toys, and in the meanwhile she can mingle with a broad range of different aged kids and interact with different levels of stimulation.

 

Also, it has multiple teachers. I estimate there are six to eight teachers except for the administrator herself. It also requires higher education levels for the teachers. I know from the introduction of the teachers that some of them have a diploma of the relevant majors in children’s education, and some are trained in certain poly schools and with a long time experiences in this field. All the pieces of information are posted publicly on the doodle board along the corridor.

 

Both the hardware and the soft power of the day care assure me of Nicole’s safety and wellness there. We decided to start with two days a week first. Thus the next step was to help overcome her separation and stranger anxiety when starting a different kind of life. Although she has got the knowledge that I’ll come back to collect her when I leave her with her caregiver and say bye-bye to her through experience in her playgroup, this is a totally new place after all. Therefore we still need to work together for a while to overcome her anxiety.

 

The daycare made an adaptation program for us which was shown in the table below. In the first several days, I went together with Nicole every morning, and there her new caregiver was waiting for us. We three then stayed there for one hour, reading a book, building blocks or playing games. At the very beginning, she only played with me or asked me to accompany her whatever she did or wherever she went. After two or three days, I could sit aside and watch her engage in activities or play with new friends, and sometimes she would make a pause to look around searching for me. Her main caregiver, the lady named Diomara, is so nice and responsible, for which I think Nicole can start to form a new attachment to her.

In the second week we gradually increased the time span. Since Nicole has been gradually eased into the new settings, Diomara suggested starting to leave Nicole there without me. The first time I tried to leave her for just half an hour. When I hugged, kissed and said goodbye to her, she started crying with the clear consciousness that mom would go. I said to her I would be back in half an hour, and then closed the door. I could even hear her cry outside. Feeling sad and guilty, but I know it’s not my fault – it’s just how babies develop. I was back on time, when I entered, the little girl laughed and ran to me at the sight of me. Diomara told me that everything was super and perfect: Nicole stopped crying shortly after I left, and she had a good time building a castle using Lego blocks. Then things went on smoothly. The next day I left for one hour, and she enjoyed a wonderful lunch with other kids. When I was back to her, she hadn’t finished her meal yet. She behaved properly, and even asked for more food by taking her dish to the person in charge. It was amazing. I never saw her eat so much at home. The last day I stayed there only for half an hour, then waved bye-bye to her. By the time she had already formed the concepts of leaving and returning, so she said and waved bye-bye back to me happily. That day she stayed there till 3pm in the afternoon. She enjoyed a good meal, and had a afternoon nap then. And when she woke up, Diomara called me to collect her.

 

This is all going on. Now she is happily in the new day care, for two days a week. Meanwhile she is still in the previous playgroup in another two half days. I do miss her much when she is not around, but it gives me comfort to know that she is being cared for by people I trust. Gradually she’ll quit from the playgroup and transit to the new day care. There should be a process, especially for a little child. There are so many things far beyond her knowledge, thus we need to perform step by step and with patience to acknowledge her feelings.

 

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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